A tidal wave of fresh home and away jerseys has enveloped the shores of Major League Soccer, as preparations for the 2016 season continue at speed. With a matter of days until the March 6 kick-off, we have pulled out some of our favourite new jerseys – and are keen to hear your thoughts!
COLUMBUS CREW AWAY JERSEY 2016
With its dual emphasis on Club and City central to their current campaign, the new Columbus Crew road jersey takes its colour scheme from the flag of Columbus, Ohio and makes repeated use of the city seal, with some unique results. With the Columbus flag represented in its jock tag, this jersey also incorporates seventeen stars into its neck tape, symbolic of Columbus being the seventeenth state to become part of the Union. As with a number of the adidas Euro 2016 kits, the Columbus away shirt abandons the traditional 3 Stripe shoulder positioning in favour of lateral side stripes.
CHICAGO FIRE HOME JERSEY 2016
Chicago Fire’s new home jersey brings echoes of Manchester United in its collar and sleeve designs and much like United, the Fire will be hoping for an improvement in fortunes as 2016 progresses. In an attempt to revive past glories, the predominantly red shirt’s central white bar harkens back to the Illinois outfit’s fledgling MLS Cup win of 1998, while the jersey carries a subtle, faded reminder to LIVE RED in its inside collar. Making use of an unusual grit pattern on its front panel, the jersey’s crossing fireman’s axe is inspired by Chicago’s unique character; with the stars of the city’s municipal flag featured in embossed form to complete a strong Chi-Town identity.
No Pity in Rose City
PORTLAND TIMBERS AWAY JERSEY 2016
For Portland fans, the most crucial change this season comes in the form of the commemorative star above the club crest; a welcome addition to represent their inaugural MLS Cup championship last season. With a design reminiscent of the classic AC Milan palette, the champions’ 2016 road jersey carries both a US flag icon and an oversized Timbers axe, both above the hem at either side. The powerful NO PITY slogan meanwhile appears on the back neck; an allusion to the rallying cry of the Timbers Army, the Oregon club’s large and vociferous fanbase. There might be no pity in Rose city, but this alternate option is all geared up to take the Timbers philosophy out on the road as well.
This City Never Sleeps
NEW YORK CITY AWAY JERSEY 2016
After donning a more conservative black and sky blue ensemble on their travels in 2015, New York City have taken the plunge for their second MLS season with this bold new alternate design. Making arresting use of orange accents against a principally blue base, a sea of swirling circles surround the centrepiece of the NYC club crest. Furthermore, the jersey pulls the NYC acronym from the team badge to recycle it as a prominent secondary motif. With the likes of Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa in their midst, any New York release was always expected to be popular in 2016. However, the design innovation of this original jersey is poised to pry open new eyes along the way.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HOME JERSEY 2016
The patriotic navy blue, white and red design of the New England Revolution home shirt is intended to reflect the style of jackets worn in the Revolutionary War; a bold objective yet one that works well and ultimately unites seamlessly with the jersey’s more conventional aspects. With its palette emphasising the club’s Stars and Stripes-themed crest to utmost effect, the jersey’s central parted arrow feature meanwhile offers a nod to the elite European leagues, as it replicates the style most recently worn by Hamburg in the Bundesliga. Central to the US soccer revolution, New England’s status as an MLS founding member is marked by the inclusion of 1996 in the inner neck insert.
We Are One
PHILADELPHIA UNION HOME JERSEY 2016
Conceptually one of this year’s most courageous designs, the reimagined Philadelphia Union home kit takes a bite out of the rulebook to spit out a sublimely-subtle snakeskin style. With a reptilian symbol adorning its outside neck, a majestic, metallic rattlesnake on its frontal jock tag accentuates one the strongest MLS brands; as inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s famous ‘Join or Die’ cartoon in the Philadelphia Gazette. Another jersey paying homage to the Revolutionary War, its navy blue and gold colour scheme emulates that of the Continental Army, while the shirt bears the slogan WE ARE ONE on its inside neck. The result is a fusion of old and new, ready-made for stars like Maurice Edu.
ORLANDO CITY AWAY JERSEY 2016
A cooling white shirt for the sons of the Sunshine State, Orlando City will wear this change jersey on their travels across 2016; a smart and stylish effort sure to win them admirers wherever they go. Inverting the colours of their distinct home strip, the neat Lions road option uses a gold trim to complete a refined image, in total synergy with the smooth club crest. The badge additionally contributes its central Lion character as a back neck feature, with the DEFY EXPECTATIONS motto included in English, Spanish and Portuguese, demonstrating the diversity of the club’s fanbase. Debuted in a recent open training session, this clean triumph ranks among 2016’s very best.
All For The City
SPORTING KANSAS CITY AWAY JERSEY 2016
Revealed to the world in a high-profile Super Bowl 50 half-time commercial, the men from Missouri will have plenty to shout about in 2016 with this sharp road jersey in their locker. An attractive combination of tones, this Kansas City shirt seems destined to become an MLS fashion favourite; with its sporting blue Henley collar and button placket beautifully complementing a deep indigo base and tonal horizontal stripes. Moreover, the omnipresent adidas 3 Stripe theme is used to enhance the overall feel, rather than provide any contrast. Winners of the historic US Open Cup tournament last season, Sporting’s MLS Cup successes are commemorated in dual stars rising above the club crest, with the team acronym appearing on the back neck to complete this contemporary classic.
Which are your MLS favourite jerseys for 2016? Which standout shirts have we missed? Agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments or via @KitbagUK on Twitter!